“Pancakes” by Richard Krohn

Richard Krohn


“Truths that are deep, not just I ate pancakes for breakfast.”
—from an interview in
Rattle #30

For breakfast I ate pancakes,
gluttony’s sweet third Circle of Hell spiraling
the serene, unconditional love of Aunt Jemima,
the first woman I ever had a crush on.

I forked each layered mouthful,
the stack giving way, springing back,
pancake geometries held aloft,
downed with Caribbeans of coffee.

I cracked eggs into flour, a madman whisking rapture,
edges of the cast-iron skillet welcoming
the bubbling butter, the lava of batter,
viscosity in a lovers’ spat with gravity.

I wonder whether those who spotted UFOs
above Roswell, New Mexico, had just eaten pancakes
or if a disk as big as a pancake
might hold all the world’s knowledge.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could slap a flapjack
in a DVD player and watch a thriller about the end
of hunger, and for that matter aren’t pancakes
the very way of life Homeland Security is protecting?

I’d be content to spend my life on a pancake island,
topped by tropical fruit, or in the mountains
in a log cabin like the one on the syrup label,
surrounded by ever-descending powdered sugar.

Each evening I’d pull a pancake comforter
up to my chin, and every morning
bright and early, I’d eat a stack of poems,
and they would taste just like pancakes.

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012

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